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Born 1880. Died 1911. Buried 1977. These are the misadventures of America's most fascinating dead outlaw.
When Elmer McCurdy was shot dead by an Oklahoma sheriff and his posse after a short spree of bungled robberies, he was not laid to rest. Leaning in a corner for a nickel-a-look at the Joseph Johnson Funeral Home, exhibited as a felled outlaw at the sideshows of the Great Patterson Carnival, propped up to illustrate the dangers of marijuana and other vices in Hollywood exploitation movies—Elmer McCurdy became big business. This is his story.
About the Author
Mark Svenvold has published two poetry collections. Soul Data, his second collection, won a Discovery/The Nation award in poetry. His nonfiction has appeared in Harper's Bazaar and elsewhere. He lives in New York City.
"Poignant, pathetic, and relentlessly hilarious. ... It's impossible to imagine McCurdy's exceptional story being told better than it is here. This is a very funny book and it's often a very wise one, too."—Washington Times
"What Svenvold brings to the party, aside from jaunty prose and a keen eye for the incongruous but telling details, is a willingness to ramble with his subject through the decades and across the country, using him as a line upon which to string odd facts and insights about the lower reaches of American culture."—New York Times Book Review
"[Svenvold] writes with a liveliness worthy of his cast of eccentrics."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Svenvold tells McCurdy's take with skill and style."—Philadelphia Inquirer